Biting your lip, you shiver slightly as you look into the cold eyes of a killer, searching for traces of that innocence lost. The kind that is buried with all other compassion in the deepest dungeons of a soldier's mind on that fateful moment when he strikes his first killing blow. The kind you try to reach out to as you slowly loosen his +5 armor buckle.
Oh, this wasn't #witcherfapfic on EFnet? My bad. Here are some of the hunky, and not so hunky, men of The Witcher 2 -- once again courtesy of CD Projekt RED. Some of them even have chest hair that is shamelessly exposed for all to look at! Hamza should cosplay as Dandelion at PAX Prime this year, and we should all demand it.
Zoltan is one of Geralt’s very few close friends. They met long ago, while the Second Nilfgaard War raged across the Northern Kingdoms, soon finding each other’s company highly agreeable, both on the battlefield and off. Usually armed with a two-handed sword rather than the axe or hammer more typically preferred by dwarves, he saved the monster-slayer’s life numerous times, a favor that was returned in kind equally often. Then and since, the two have also had countless occasions to share immeasurable
volumes of wine and ale… and the following mornings’ headaches.
Like all members of his kind, Zoltan is all too familiar with the unthinking disdain some humans have for dwarves. As a result, he can easily sympathize when he sees others suffering the weight of similar oppression, such as the Scoia'tael. But time and experience have been his teachers. He has learned to value the loyalty of old friends above all, regardless of their race or station.
“No matter what he may think or say, Geralt can’t hold his drink worth a damn. But there’s no one I’d rather have at my back in a fight.” After all the times they have cheated death in battle together, there’s no doubt the witcher would echo the latter sentiment.
Very little is known about this man of mystery, not even his real name. Those who have seen Kingslayer will readily attest to his intimidating appearance. It’s obvious he’s large and muscular, but is he just another lumbering giant who swings his massive sword gracelessly, albeit with fearsome power? His scarred visage is widely familiar across multiple northern lands where it can seem as if every wall and post carries a notice bearing his portrait, which looks like that of a dumb brute. But can anyone of such
renown truly be nothing more?
Perhaps naturally, Kingslayer has become the focus of considerable conjecture and innuendo. For example, it has been wondered aloud if he has gained the confidence of the Scoia'tael. This seems rather improbable since the elven guerillas, especially their cunning leader Iorveth, are quite reluctant to associate with humans, never mind to trust them. Still, it’s difficult to believe he completely lacks allies. Without any, how could he continue to evade the troops of soldiers, bands of bounty hunters and solitary assassins who covet the fortune attached to his head?
Any who might answer such questions is unlikely to talk. “My affairs are mine alone. Those who think otherwise would do well to remember I’ll do anything necessary to safeguard my privacy.”
Formerly in service to King Esterad of Kovir, the sorcerer Dethmold of Ban Ard shifted his allegiance after the Thanedd Coup during which his brother, also a practitioner of magic, was felled by a Scoia’tael arrow. Utterly enraged, he sought out a patron better suited to gaining his vengeful goal, the complete extermination of the Squirrels. This brought him to Henselt of Kaedwen, a powerful, greedy, violent ruler notorious for his antipathy toward non-humans.
Dethmold’s animosity isn’t limited to the elves. He hates all those who sided with his sibling’s killers – or might have. What’s more, his fury has blinded him to any notions of right and wrong he once had. Now, he single-mindedly craves the death of anyone he views as an enemy, and will stop at nothing to achieve this end. Ironically, this means Henselt, hardly a shining bastion of morality himself, has sometimes felt the need to rein him in. Nonetheless, the sorcerer’s skills and penchant for machinations have proven to
be exceptionally valuable. As a result, the King keeps him close at hand.
It’s no surprise that Dethmold regards Geralt with mixed emotions. “Like the rest of his kind, the witcher is an abomination, although one whose abilities can occasionally be quite useful.”
Unwavering in his loyalty to Temeria, Vernon Roche is the Commander of King Foltest’s special forces, the Blue Stripes. A commoner by birth, he attained this powerful position by serving with unsurpassed distinction in the war against Nilfgaard. Bearing witness to his staunch dedication, he is never seen without the insignia of his unit and a medallion of the kingdom’s crest. Neither is he ever apart from his weapons. Inclined to fighting with more force than finesse, he favors his two-handed sword, but also carries a heavy mace and a smaller second blade.
Roche has proven his value to Temeria and Foltest many times over. He has chosen the Blue Stripes with great care. While few in number, they are zealously devoted to their inspirational leader. In addition, they possess a wide range of abilities, ensuring that they can effectively fulfill many different tasks, from swaying the tide of battles to infiltration, scouting, interrogation and more. Indeed, there is only one significant objective they have yet to accomplish, capturing the elusive bandit leader Iorweth.
Naturally, Roche has made far more enemies than friends. “I know there are many who would like to see me dead. But I doubt that any of them are truly up to the task.”
To some, Iorweth is a freedom fighter. They see him as a hero, one of only a few elven guerrillas who haven’t given in to the humans. To others, this makes him nothing more than a common brigand, albeit far more crafty and elusive than most. During the war against Nilfgaard, he led a storied commando squad. Employing similar tactics, he has thwarted all who have tried to hunt him down. He wears an assortment of badges taken from special forces units who failed. Only Vernon Roche’s is missing, else his collection would be complete.
Iorweth’s face bears the scars of numerous battles. He is wont to cover part of it with a cowl, but it’s still clear his fine features were once rather striking. Like his companions, he dresses unremarkably, the better to pass unnoticed. However, his bow instantly stands out to anyone familiar with weapons. A slender, double-limbed masterpiece of elven craftsmanship, it has launched countless arrows with lethal accuracy and power enough to pierce even fine mail armor as if it were mere cloth.
Humans and any others Iorweth suspects of collaborating with them can expect no mercy. “This land belongs to the elves. I would rather die than let it be taken from us.”
Viscount Julian Pankratz de Lettenhove is a celebrated troubadour. Like many another itinerant bard, he can weave epic ballads re-telling the tales of storied heroes. He’s also fond of using his sharp wit as a needle to prick the egos of prominent miscreants, be they commoners or kings, often only escaping their full wrath because he looks the fop. Such an impression isn’t completely inaccurate. Undeniably flamboyant of manner, he invariably dresses in ornate, even gaudy fashions, such as his distinctive long-plumed hat, and is nearly legendary as a womanizer.
Geralt and Dandelion have known each other for a number of years. Despite their seeming differences, they somehow formed a bond of friendship very quickly. Since then, the poet has kept company with the monster slayer as often as anyone – indeed, quite possibly more. While it would be an exaggeration to describe them as constant companions, the two have travelled together across the Northern Kingdoms on more occasions than either can remember, so frequently that it’s hard to imagine them apart
for very long.
Dandelion exhibits ego and lack of tact in equal measures. “The witcher needs to keep his skills honed. I have to provoke trouble occasionally so he can stay in practice with his blade.”
Check out some more screenshots and concept art in the gallery.